In 2007, Chef Nico Romo joined Patrick Properties as executive chef to oversee development and execution of the culinary programs for their four historic properties: Fish Restaurant, Lowndes Grove, The William Aiken House and The American Theater.
A native of Lyon, France, Chef Romo graduated from The Helene Boucher Culinary Art School in Vénissieux, France at the age of 19. Following his graduation, he refined his skills training under French Master Chef Patrick Henriroux at La Pyramide Hotel and Restaurant in Vienne, France and under French Master Chef Pierre Orsi in Lyon.
Chef Romo began his tenure in the United States as sous chef at Chez Philippe in the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. He then relocated to Atlanta to work as sous chef at the Ritz Carlton, Atlanta before acting as executive chef at The Café at East Andrews. Prior to his current work in Charleston, Chef Romo opened the third location of the B.E.D. restaurant at The Glenn, Atlanta’s first boutique hotel.
Most recently, Chef Romo became the youngest chef to ever receive the title of Master Chef of France at the age of 30. The coveted honor and title is awarded to those chefs dedicated to the art of classic French cuisine. Chef Romo is the only chef in South Carolina to hold the refined distinction that he shares with only 500 prestigious chefs nationwide.
The Chefs Connection: What was your first job in food?
Nico Romo: Prep cook at “Le Rochefort” St Genis Laval, France
TCC: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
TCC: What’s your favorite thing about being a chef?
NR: The chance to be a part of all the great moments in people’s lives and be that place of creating memories
TCC: Did you have an “aha” moment when you knew you wanted to be a chef?
NR: No, I just went for it! I love the life style. I never wanted to be a 9 to 5 person.
TCC: Best advice you ever got?
NR: Never think you GOT IT, always be prepared and learn every day
TCC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
NR: Fish Eye
TCC: Your favorite ingredient:
TCC: The ingredient that turns you off the most:
NR: Truffle oil
TCC: Your favorite tool:
NR: Paring knife
TCC: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not cooking.
NR: Watching soccer and playing with my crazy kids.
TCC: What would you like to do before you get too old to do it?
NR: Tour the world!
TCC: Tell us a deep dark secret (doesn’t have to be food related).
NR: I love to eat pasta with ketchup and parmesan cheese…it’s horrible I know.
TCC: How do you deal with the stress?
NR: Eat too much and go to the gym to burn it off.
TCC: Who would you like to meet?
NR: Paul Bocuse and have dinner for 2 hours.
TCC: Who would you like to cook for?
NR: As many people as possible.
TCC: What was the hardest thing for you to learn? Or is there something you just can’t get, right?
NR: Slow down…patience… it’s getting better but still not good.
TCC: Is there some little something you do for your family to make up for the time you’re not with them?
NR: Make sure we have dinner all together 2 nights a week.
TCC: How did becoming a chef change your life? Your direction.
NR: Well I think I would have got myself into too much trouble growing up. The kitchen was the military education that I needed to become or try to be better person today.